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Parade in silence for tragic band girl.

WEEPING child musicians marched in silence at a carnival parade just hours after a member of their band died.

Schoolgirl Vicky Herd collapsed as she and her pals practised for the event. The 15-year-old never regained consciousness despite her father's attempts to revive her.

Her tearful pals in the Sandy Drum and Bugle Corp marched in the parade without instruments as a mark of respect to Vicky, keeping time to the beat of a solitary drum.

Afterwards, they went on to win the UK Drum Corp Contest at Tottenham, north London.

Vicky, who played baritone horn, was rehearsing with the band when she collapsed on Friday.

They were practising for the Bedfordshire town's carnival the next day.

Dad Perry, who was awaiting post mortem results today, said his daughter had seemed fit and well. He added: "She was devoted to the band and loved it."

Mayor Keith Perrin, who joined Saturday's procession, said: "Marching to the drum beat was the band's way of showing respect to Vicky - it was so sad.

"The whole town feels it. For someone of that age with their life ahead of them to suddenly die is terrible. My feelings are with the family."

Photographer Ken Lynch said: "People were stunned and children in the band were crying, girls and boys were very upset.

"The band is very, very popular. Everyone always says it's a credit to Sandy."

Vicky, who was a bright student at Sandy Upper School, was preparing to study for her A-levels.

Relatives were yesterday struggling to come to terms with their loss at the family home.
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Author:Fletcher, James
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 22, 1998
Words:264
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